5 Mar 2012

Watties harvests record beetroot crop

6:35 am on 5 March 2012

Heinz Wattie's is halfway through harvesting a bumper beetroot crop in Hawke's Bay.

By the end of April, Wattie's expects to have processed a record 11,500 tonnes of beets, four times more than the previous season.

Agriculture manager Ivan Angland says the extra volume is to meet demand in the Australian market, where the company no longer processes beetroot, after its decision to base production of that crop in New Zealand.

He says the company has moved other production to New Zealand as well, to use the upgraded Hastings site.

Mr Angland a lot more canned sweet corn from Australia is also being processed, as well as tomato sauce.

He says there are no plans at this stage to shift any other food production to New Zealand from Australia.